Five Star's 300th Great Blog Roundup Is Brought to You By Joseph Boyden
This week's Five Star roundup is brought to you by watching black boys become men, grammar panic, losing one's mother twice, being what you got to be, a beautiful response to the possibility of homosexual children in a Christian family, encouragement for those parenting children with special needs, a public service message about PANDAS, a child of domestic violence dealing with the aftermath, where much of the violence against black people in America really lies, 15 years of blogging knowledge, and Joseph Boyden:
As they rode away from me I heard their low voices say that they needed to split up and "There's the police" which an emphasis on "po". My body froze in that spot to watch them.
Everything changed. Their body language changed instantly and their comfort in posing for the camera just seconds before were now gone. No longer boys, they were men in an instant, morphing to fit the audience in a flash.
There are people in the world who speak beautifully, whose powers of rhetoric and usage are keen, and yet who are nonetheless horrible people who wreak havoc in people's lives. Yes, fine, Godwin’s Law invoked: I'm talking about Hitler. But we don't even need to look that deep into the heart of grammatical darkness. We all know someone who is 100% orthodox in their grammatical opinions, spotless as a lamb, and whose life is still a shambles.
Trying to explain it to myself, or to understand it, I kept coming back to the idea of an astronaut in space — left adrift to float until they run out of oxygen without gravity to hold them in place. And that's what it's like when you lose your mother. You're adrift without any context of yourself in the world.
A woman walking behind me said, “Ugh! So disgusting!” after I yelled my happy yell about the rat, and I didn’t beat her up or anything but I was sort of offended on the rat’s behalf. He doesn’t know he’s vermin. It is kind of uncool to call any animal disgusting. They are just doing their thing, man.
Childhood is difficult enough, and most gay kids spend their entire existence being horribly, excruciatingly uncomfortable. I’m not going to put mine through any more unnecessary discomfort, just to make Thanksgiving dinner a little easier for a third cousin with misplaced anger issues.
If my children come out, we’ll be out as a family.
I can have faith in a simple idea, that no matter what happens, we’ll find our way. It’ll be okay because we’re stronger than we know, and when we need to be clever, we find paths that will get us not necessarily to the happy ending, but at least to the next safe spot. We’re frogs crossing a pond, and we don’t need to reach the shore right now. We just need to find the next lily pad. We just need to plan our next jump.
I am a mother to a beautiful four year old little girl. She is exceedingly bright, funny and outgoing. She is also healthy. We’ve had a few bumps along the road – reflux, asthma and a little anxiety. She outgrew her reflux. Her asthma is well controlled and also getting better as she gets older. As for the anxiety, well, it turns out that was a symptom of something bigger.
My mother was a battered woman who didn’t leave her abuser. And that meant a bunch of things for her and for me and my brother. I cannot explain her reasoning, because I was a small child when most of the abuse occurred. But I can tell you it’s common enough, and it’s not even that hard to understand.
If all we had to worry about was a cop with a gun or a can of mace, we wouldn’t need marches. We wouldn’t need to watch videos and shake our heads in sadness at these racists that make things hard for everyone.
So here’s what’s killing me. What’s killing us.
The personal blog is an important, under-respected art form. While blogs as a medium are basically just the default format for sharing timely information or doing simple publishing online, the personal blog is every bit as important an expressive medium as the novel or the zine or any visual arts medium. As a culture, we don't afford them the same respect, but it's an art form that has meant as much to me, and revealed as many truths to me, as the films I have seen and the books I have read, and I'm so thankful for that.
Please come back and share good writing with us over the coming week to be featured on the next Five Star. Submit it by Tuesday at midnight CST to nominate it for inclusion in the next roundup.
And because you are a fan of finding good, new writing on the internet: